From the Heartland

This is my soap box, on these pages I publish my opinions on firearms and any other subject I feel like writing about.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Duct tape and the digital age

I have known for a long time that I needed a new digital camera. The problem is the old the old one still takes really good pictures. When the tab that held the battery cover closed broke I, with a certain amount of redneck pride, broke out the duct tape and gave new life to that camera.

Really it was no big deal. there was room in the camera bag for the tape and it only took a few extra seconds to slice off a strip of tape and rescure the cover. There is only so much that even duct tape can do though. Warm weather and perspiration at times would allow the tape to slip just enough to interupt the flow of DC energy unless the photographer could find a creative way to hold the cover closed. Yea a person looked a bit funny trying to take pictures with it and eventually I was the only one that could make it work or was not embarrassed to be seen using it. But, hey did I tell you it still takes really good pictures? Really it wasn't that bad until the hinge side of the baterry cover began to go south. Even as good as it is even duct tape couldn't hold the cover tight enough to maintain a DC circuit when both sides of the cover are FUBAR.

Enter this weekend.

Yesterday, "She Who Must be Obeyed", reminded me that we are hosting a suoire this weekend and all of the kids and grandkids will be in attendance and we need a new camera. She further avered that I needed to get one TODAY. Her reasoning was that it would take a minimum of two full days for my redneck mind to figure out how to take pictures with it. She reminded me that all I had to do was learn to take the pictures in two days, once that was done I could then take the week or so that would be needed to learn how to transfer them to the computer and print them out.

"Honey all you have to do is be able to take pictures with it by Saturday".

Smart woman she is, but did I tell you the old one still takes good pictures when I can get it to work? So with me reluctantly in tow we head off to the neighborhood Wal-Mart. "She Who Must be Obeyed" was doing most of the looking and comparing while I was hanging out in the sporting goods section. After a time she tracked me down and told me she found what she thought was a good one and it was less than $200.00.

I followed her back to the camera department and checked out her choice. It was a good 4 mega-pixel camera, but something kept tugging at the periphery of my vision. No longer able to ignore it, I turned and picked up the item of distraction. It too was a 4 mega-pixel camera and just seemed to more astetically pleasing and fit my hand a bit better than the one she was leaning toward. It was also priced about $70.00 higher.

It did not take much explaining that even though this one had more features, the control buttons were bigger and easier for me to operate with ten thumbs.

$260.00 later we are on our way home with a new camera and the trepidation of trying to figure out another new-fangled electronic device.

Aww it's a Kodak Moment

Wow! I suprized even my self. I actually understood the User's Guide and within a few minutes of opening the box and installing the baterries I was; A) Change the settings B) able to take pictures, C) Able to take video D) Hook it up to the television slide show the pictures and play the video.

As soon as I post this missive I am going to install the software on the computer and hopefully by the end of the day I will be able to upload the pics and even print them out.

It really is scary how much of a high-tech redneck I am becoming.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Criminals run rampant on the streets of Lincoln

But they do so at their own peril. I have no doubt that these offenders will be in custody before too much more time passes.

Recent History
In the past 9 or 10 days local media outlets have reported a string on violent crimes in the Capitol City.

It started last Sunday morning with an armed home invasion that that I wrote about here. There was another reported home invasion reported the following morning (Monday). In both instances the perpetrators seemed interested in robbing the occupants of their firearms.

Sometime last night there was an other apparent home invasion, this one cumulating with the shooting death of the occupant. At the time of this writing all that is known of this latest tragic incident is reported here.

In addition to these home invasions there has been at least three armed robberies of fast food Mexican restaurants. Police chief Tom Casady told the Journal Star;

The way the suspects carried out the armed robbery at Amigos, 2063 S. 16th St., was similar to 10 to 15 other robberies, Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady said Monday. Investigators have found similarities in the cases, although they can’t say with certainty the same suspects pulled all of them.

Last December
All of these restaurant robberies are reminicent of the Taco Bell robbery/shooting that took place last December on North 27th street. The three perpetrators in that crime were caught when one of them was identified as a former employee. Yes it is rare for an armed robbery in Lincoln to end with a shooting as Chief Tom Casady stated at that time;

Of the 1,536 robberies — armed and unarmed — that occurred here between 1994 and 2003, only one person was shot, Casady said. That robbery occurred in April 1998 at the Gas ‘N Shop, 5560 S. 48th St. The robber shot the victim twice, but she survived.

I know the Chief has a lot on is mind and is maybe getting old, but surely he hasn't forgotten the tragedy that occurred at Acher Arms on January 28th, 2000. After all it was one of the crimes highlighted in the Departments annual report for that year. (link is to a pdf file)

Related Robberies
Of the 10-15 cases of armed robbery so far this year the Police Department thinks several are related as is reflected in the in the Crimes Stoppers report that has been issued;

The Lincoln Police Department is investigating an series of ARMED ROBBERIES (7) that have occurred at Restaurants in the City of Lincoln between May 8th and August 24th. Because of the method of the robberies and the similar descriptions of the suspects, it is believed they are related.

Having a working knowledge of how the Lincoln Police Department works, I am sure it will be only a matter of time before the miscreant youth identified for these crimes are brought before the Judge.

Many times I have expressed my differences with Chief Tom Casady, but there is one thing I will say;

Chief Casady genuinely cares about Lincoln and it's citizens and he knows how to get the job done.

Since becoming Chief Casady has kept the Lincoln Police Department on the cutting edge of crime solving techniques. Chief Casady has done more with less than most cities of comparable size or larger. So much so that he has repeatedly been invited to other U.S. cities and foriegn countries to speak on the methods that he has implimented here. In fact Chief Casady recently returned from a trip to London, England where he was invited to share his experiences. Several other cities, including foriegn cities have sent emmessaries to the Capitol City to study the way things are done here in order to build that knowledge in their home jurisdiction crime fighting abilities.

At Chief Casady's direction the Lincoln Police Department was one of the first departments in the country to develop computer programing to track criminal trends and patterns. The results of this foresight was most evident in the aprehension of a local bank robber that had committed a dozen or more bank robberies in the last several years.

It was no accident that the man was caught as he was about to commit another one. Based on data provided by the departments computer programming, Investigators were able to pin point almost to the hour when and where the suspect would strike again.

By entering all of the known data into the computer the police were able to determine that the dates of subsequant robberies were based on the amount taken from the previous bank robbery. The program also showed that the suspect had a penchant for banks that were away from high traffic areas. In essence the police had it narrowed down to about four banks they thought he would hit and a four day window in which he would commit the robbery. Within the first few hours of the very first morning of that window the suspect, not being one to dissappoint, appeared in the parking lot of one of the four banks and was apprehended after a brief foot chase.

In another case computer programming allowed officers to solve an ongoing series of indecent exposure crimes that most probably would not have been linked had it not been for the computer programming.

If one takes stock in statistics, the Lincoln Police Department, as compared to other cities of the same size, is definately under manned and under bugeted. This has not stopped the fine officers, led by Chief Casady, from amassing an enviable record of solving crime. They have done so by thinking and acting "outside of the box".

As long as there are bad people there will always be crime, that will never stop. Yes there have been a recent spate of violent crimes in Lincoln. Will there be more? Of course there will, be that is just the nature of some that have been unjustly labled as human beings instead of the vicious predators that they are.

The good citizens should know, however that their Police Department is internationaly recognized in criminal investigation and that Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady and the fine Officers under his command are working very hard to catch those responsible for this recent rash of violent crimes.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Don't come any closer, I am contagious

It is official I have been self diagnosed with the highly contagious Buysgunitchitis.

Although Buyagunitchitis can strike at anytime I first began noticing the symptoms shortly after seeing a bright orange billboard with black lettering announcing an upcoming gun show.

For those that are likewise afflicted the gun show will be held the 2nd, 3rd and 4th of September at the Lancaster County Event Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

There are two phases of Buyagunitchitis; The first is when you know specifically what kind and caliber of firearm your looking for, the other is the worst and most dreaded form of this affliction in that you really haven't been wanting or needing a particular firearm, but since it has been awhile since your last aquisition you have the urge to buy one just because you can.

It is this second form of Buyagunitchitis that I am afflicted with at this time and there are only two known cures for recovery.

The simplist way to overcome Buyagunitchitis, as in the case of knowning what you want, is simply go to the show or a local dealer and make the best deal you can. Purchasing a firearm results in a miraculously instantanious cure for Buyagunitchitis.

That is okay when you know exactly what you want and can afford it. Beyond that things can get a bit complicated.

What if you don't know what you want? What if your local dealer doesn't have what your looking for? What if you can't afford it right now?

My problem is I don't know what I want/need. Its true! I have bought a few firearms in the last year or so and really haven't spent as much time with them as I would like, so I really have not given any thought to buying anymore any time soon. So why then am I so struck with this affliction that I need to buy another gun? Granted there are any number of accesories that I am planning to spend money on at the show, it is not the same as buying a firearm though and it is certainly not a cure for Buyagunitchitis. It doesn't even temporarally relieve any of the symptoms.

I know, I know, I can as I have in the past, just let Buyagunitchitis run its course and move on. Yea right! Anybody that has opted for this type of cure will tell you it is not a pleasant experience. In case anyone is partaking of food as they read this I won't go into the horrid details of what a person goes through when they decide not to buy a gun and let Buyagunitchitis run its course. Just know that one is never completely cured going cold turkey. The next bout with it will be worse than the last until the afflicted finally breaks down and buys something.

I am not as strong as I used to be and readily admit it, I could get through this one, but the increased effects of the next one just might do me in.

I have spent the last three days wanting to buy another firearm and nearly every waking moment has been in consideration as to what firearm it will be. Of course I could just go to the show without a specific firearm in mind and just buy something that catches my eye. That is not a good plan in my experience as I have made some of my worst buys when I was buying a gun just to buy a gun. The biggest problem with that is you usually end up with something that you paid to much for or wasn't what you thought it would be and then Buyagunitchitis sets in all over again.

I really think I need to review a post I made back in January on how to shop a gun show and commit myself to following my own rules. In the mean time I will try to keep thinking of something to set my sights on (pun intended) and maybe by show time I can effect a cure that I can live with for a number of years to come.

Yea I got it bad, I told yuh to keep your distance I am contagious.

Well there it is, the first step toward recovery; admitting that you have a problem.

Hi I am Gunscribe and I suffer from Buyagunitchitis.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hagelisms are begining to abound

Sub Titled: Haggling with one G

Hagelisms !!! I hope I just coined a new word.

Now that the elections of 2004 are behind us, some of the more self-appointed prominent politicians are jockeying to take up residence it the Peoples digs at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. We all new Hillary would. We suspect that Kerry will again as well. Add to that Joe Biden and a few others, namely Chuck Hagel (Rhino - Ne.).

When our Military first made their precence know in Iraq last year Hagel was at the fore front calling for more troops on the ground and "Let's get this thing done". Later in the year however when Chuck Hagel was stumping the state as the Nebraska Chair of the Re-elect President Bush Campaign, Hagel never missed an opportunity to distance himself from the President. Now Hagel is clearing standing in opposition to the President on the war in Iraq and several other issues. What changed his mind is anybody's guess, but I surmise it has everything to do with his ambitions for the Whitehouse.

In the changing winds of political opinion Hagel is proving that he can waffle with the best of them.

What was once said of John Kerry; "This political race for President is defined as having clear and concise opinions and ideas from all sides of the political spectrum ..... and that is just John Kerry's positions" can be applied to Chuck Hagel.

I was on to Hagel last year and wrote about it here on these pages.

8/13/2k4 Chuckie takes a Bride

8/15/2k4 Chuckie goes to the Whitehouse

12/03/2k4 Another question to ponder

12/21/2k4 What party will Hagel represent in 2008

Now that Hagel has become the Republican "go to guy" for the Sunday propaganda shows more and more people are starting to realize what Chuck Hagel really is. Does Chuck Hagel believe in something? Yes. He believes in Chuck Hagel. Does Chuck Hagel stand for something? Yes. Chuck Hagel stands for Chuck Hagel and what ever it will take to get him elected to the highest office in the land.

This Country needs a leader with backbone, not someone who will waffle on any issue in a deceitful attempt to get elected. We have had to many of them already; Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy ... ad infinitem.

Chuck Hagel isn't just holding a wetted finger in the air (like Bill Clinton always did) to decide which side of an issue he needs to be on today, Hagel is flapping in the breeze like Gramma's drawers on the clothes line. It seems by all outward appearances that Hagel is actually to the left of Hillary on issues dealing with Iraq.

For some really good analysis of what Chuck Hagel is about lately read what the fellow Nebraska Bloggers are saying about our esteemed Senator;

From Ryne McClaren - Preview: 2008

From PTG @ The Plains Feeder - Senator Chuck Hagel's sad Viet-Nam fixation

Chuck Hagel is not the "over night and out of the blue salvation" that the Republican Party needs to keep a presence in the Whitehouse beyond 2008. Chuck Hagel has been carefully crafting and molding himself into a viable candidate for President for a very long time. Time will tell what other issues Hagel will waffle or change his mind on.

Most of us are familiar with the word "Borked" and it's origins, by the end of 2008 the word of the day could very well be "Hageled". (You saw it coined here first folks)

Monday, August 22, 2005

Armed thugs invade home and take loaded gun/s

I was hesitant about posting this because I could not find any references in the online version of the local fish wrapper to link to it. How ever after listening to it ad infinitem every hour all day Sunday on AM 1400 KLIN I decided to write about it.

The gist of the story;

Some time in the dark wee hours of the morning a man and his girlfriend are rousted from sleep by a loud knocking at their door. Upon answering the door the residents are assaulted by at least two people, one of which is armed with a handgun. The late night intruders demand the firearms owned by the man and depart with a loaded (as reported by the radio station) "assault weapon" and a shotgun.

I am having a hard time understanding the dynamics of this particular crime and fail to understand how a suitably armed person could allow this to happen.

Why would anyone open their door to loud knocking at that hour of the morning without knowing who it was first? How could anyone with an apparently loaded firearm not have it ready for IMMEDIATE use when someone is knocking on their door at that unGodly hour of the morning? Why wasn't at least one of the residents secluded in another room ready to or in the process of calling 911? Where was this loaded firearm when the residents were opening their door to persons unknown in the dark of night? Why wasn't someone ready and prepared to use it when armed thugs with illicet intentions forced themselves across the threshold in the dark hours of the day?

There are lots more questions I have concerning this, but the bottom line is that I fail to understand how someone can just open their door to anyone in the wee hours of the morning and allow themselves to be robbed of a loaded firearm. If you are not prepared to use it don't own it and most certainly don't leave it laying around the house loaded.

With "Home Invasions" becoming an ever increasing reality, even in rural America, when someone knocks on your door at that time of day certain precautions must be taken until you can verify that the interloper is a friend or foe. When in doubt call 911 and for God's sake DO NOT open the door. If you do open the door to person or persons unknown in the middle of the night be prepared; To respond to their actions accordingly or suffer the consequence of your folly.

There are now two more guns on the street because somebody either, failed to take the neccesary precautions to ensure their own safety or they were not fully prepared to use the tools at their disposal to protect themselves from harm.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The Mossberg SSI-One

For years I have been intrigued with single shot rifles and wanted at least one for my collection. I had been able to shoot several of the different makes in the past including the Ruger Number 1 and the Thompson Center Contender/Encore. Personally I like the idea of just changing barrels to change calibers but I have never cared for the style of TC's firearm. The Ruger is a fine looking rifle and it fits me well, but if you want one in another caliber you have to buy a whole new rifle.

Mossberg SSI-One

Enter the Mossberg SSI-One. This single shot firearm has been around since the late 90's, has the streamlined looks of the Ruger and like the Encore it is available in several calibers. To me this firearm shoulders and fits well, has the lines of a fine rifle and holds steady. I have heard it refered to as "The Poorman's Ruger #1". I wanted one. I was looking for one in .270 and finally bought one in 30-06 caliber earlier this year. It was just to good of a deal to pass up and I will be just as happy with the 06 anyway. Besides I can always get a 270 barrel for it. When I took posession of it I made a list of other barrels I would like to have for it. These "extra barrels" come with its own forend and a weaver scope base. First among the other barrels I wanted was the 12 gauge rifled slug barrel and the possibly the .243 or 22-250.

The SSI does not come in as wide a selection of calibers as the Encore, but the choice is respectable; The .223 barrels come in both standard and heavy variations, as does the 22-250. Other calibers include the .243, and .308. There is also a "very tight choked" smoothbore 12 gauge barrel for turkey hunting.

It should also be noted that the SSI-One does not appear in Mossbergs current line up of firearms on their website. I have heard through the grapvine that they have quit making it for at least the rest of this year. Whether production will resume next year or not is not known at this time. There are however a number of new unfired and used gun and barrel combinations in the hands of dealers and the general public.

Simmons 44 Mag 3-10 Scope

As for the 30-06, I topped it with a Simmons 44 Mag 3-10 scope that I have had for years. It is still a very accurate scope and gave me good service when it was mounted on a Remington 788 in 308 caliber that I have had since the mid 70's. The first time at the range with the ought six we only had time to shoot a box or so of ammo at 25 yrds. I used some standard Remington Express 150 grain PSP Core-lokts and some Remington Reduced Recoil 125gr PSP Core-Lokts. After sighting it in at 25 yards we did pop a few water filled Mountain Dew bottles at 100 yards just for fun.

Note: For the ballistically challenged the line of sight is a flat line from the eye to the target. Since gravity effects all things with mass the flight path of a bullet must be an arc or it will never impact the line of sight. The bullet starts out below the line of sight with the rear of the barrel father below the line of sight than the front of the barrel. Because of the arc the fired bullet will "rise" above the line of sight at a given distance from the barrel, reach the apex of its arc at a given point downrange and then as the effects of gravity take over it will "fall" below the line of sight at a given distance from the barrel. A knowledgeable shooter can save ammo by knowing where these line of sight intersections take place with certain ammo and use the closer distance to "sight" the rifle in. After doing so one should always shoot at the farther distance to verify the sight and possibly make any fine adjustments.

Remington 30-06 ammo

In the case of the 150 grain load I used and the length of the barrel the bullet will first cross the line of sight at about 37 yrds and cross it again at 250 yards and be aproximately 2 1/2 inches high at 100 yards. In our short session we did not find the recoil of the 150 grain loads objectionable, but after shooting the 125 grain Reduced Recoil loads and then shooting the 150's again the difference, to say the least, was very noticable. The Reduced Recoil loads in the 30-06 are supposed to have more power than the 30-30 and have a range of 200 plus yards for deer size game. It was also our experience that, as Remington advertisies, they do shoot to the same point of impact as normal 30-06 150 grain loads.

Bushnell Banner Shotgun Scope

Recently I was able to aquire an unfired NIB 12 gauge rifled slug barrel for my SSI. It was still warm from the box UPS delivered it in when I mounted a Bushnell Banner 1.5 - 4.5 shotgun scope on it. From my perspective the one drawback is that the slug barrel is ported. I realize it probaly helps manage the recoil some and I shouldn't complain, but I have just not settled into the idea of holes in my barrels yet and it is just one more thing that needs to be cleaned.

Mossberg SSI- One Shotgun Barrel

Setting up on the range to sight the shotgun barrel we placed the target at 25 yards. At that range it initially shot about 3 inches to the right and 2 inches low with Remington Premier Copper Solid one ounce 2 3/4 inch Sabot slugs. A bit of a sight adjustment and we moved the target stand out to 50 yards.

Remington Slugs

Aside: When sighting in a 12 gauge shotgun it should be done at 50 yards. Because of slug velocity and wind speed if a shotgun is sighted in at 100 yards it is technically only sighted in for that days wind and will not impact the same sighting on successive days. At 50 yards the slug is still super sonic and uneffected by the wind. Sighting in a 12 gauge slug gun to impact 2 1/2 - 3 inches high at 50 yards will have that firearm dead on at 100 yards on a windfree day. Practice is required to learn the compensation for wind drift at 100 yards after the gun has been "zeroed" 3 inches high at 50 yards.

Shooting at 50 yards showed that the slugs were still printing a bit to the right. I over adjusted and had the next two printing left. a final adjustment was made and the last two were essentially about 2 inches high and center. (see accompanying target)

50 Yard Target

Shooting 10 rounds (about 20 dollars worth of ammunition) I was was very impressed with the way the SSI handled and shot. Recoil was far from objectionable, probably due to the ported barrel I'm sure. It will take a few more boxes of ammo before I will be ready to hunt with this gun with the 12 gauge barrel installed, but I think that it will do what I want it to and I am already tasting the venison I hope to take on a trip to Ohio this deer season.

Even with the very little shooting I have done with this firearm using either barrel I am impressed with it and look forward to using it in the field in the near future and years to come. It handles very well, fits me and is showing itself to be a very accurate gun.

As a final note I would like to impart two observations that I have formulated in a lot of years of shooting slugs from shotgun barrels. The first is that slug barrels of the rifled variety require the use of sabot rounds. I don't know if the Foster type slugs will "lead up" a rifled barrel or not, but I do believe that the sabot makes for a more accurate clean shooting round in the rifled barrels. The second is the the grooves that are swaged into the soft lead of the Foster type slugs are not ment to make the slug spin in the barrel of a smooth bore shotgun. They do however give stability and possibly some spin to the flight of a slug once it has departed the barrel, much the same way dimples effect the flight of a golf ball.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It's been a year and then some

I can't believe it has been more than a month since my last post. During that time this Blog turned one year old. I wrote my first post on July 21st of 2004. I had known a blogger or two and was reading several prior to scribing my own posts, but it was Publicola that really inspired me to begin my own. I had some things I wanted to say and he was willing to post them on his Blog when he suggested that I consider starting my own. I thought about it for a few weeks and with some encouragement from others I began publishing "From the Heartland".

I previously noted I had been reading blogs for some time and the one thing I did not want to publish was a clearing house for what other Bloggers were doing. You know what I mean; Nothing but notes and links to other peoples work. To me those types of Blogs get old real quick, as there is not much original thought just a bunch of "click on over to ____ and check the story on ....."

Having said that I have and will continue to link to other Bloggers when the occassion warrants and I hope they continue to return the favor. Linking is an important atribute of blogging in that if I am doing research for a post and run across a blog that has already covered the topic it is important to note that Blog with a link, or if it is a really great piece that just needs to be spread around. I just did not and still don't want "From the Heartland" to be a series of links to someone elses work. I have attempted and will continue to write posts that are of interest to me from my point of view and offer some salient points that may not have been noted elsewhere.

It has been a really good year at Casa De Gunsribe cumulating with the celebration of a newborn grandson last month and Mrs Gunscribe and my 29th wedding anniverary this past Sunday (the 14th).

To say that I have been seriously busy around the homestead is an understatement. It is apple picking time and though we only have a few trees they have been coming in all at once and we have had an exceptional crop this year. Between all of the outside work and some woodworking chores that Mrs Gunscribe has had me on (Building a new entertainment center and deck chairs) I have barely found time to attend any shooting competitions let alone practice. I'm not sure I should be complaining about that though even without the practice I have placed 3rd in the last two bowling pin shoots I entered.

Again I realize it has been more than a month since I posted and I am sincerely greatfull to all of you that have hung in there with me. I have managed in the past week to get out to the range twice. The first time the wife and I took our bows out for a few hours and a good friend and I got to the rifle range to sight in my Mossberg SSI-One that I have written about in the past. This time I left the 30-06 barrel at home and concentrated on the 12 gauge rifled slug barrel that is topped with a Bushnell shotgun scope. Hopefully I can get to a post about it in the next day or so.

Thank you all that have been reading my Blog this past year. Thank you Bloggers that have thought enough of my work to link my posts and add me to your Blogrolls. And I especially thank each and everyone of you that took the time to leave comments on posts that interested you whether you agreed with me or not.